Working while in nursing school? Tell your story..

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I was just wondering what type of work everyone else was doing to get thru nursing school if at all. Currently I work in the staffing resource center (means I float to what ever unit needs help) at a level 1 trauma hospital as a PCT (I've been a CNA for 10 years now) where I'm going on 3 years of employment. I only work a .5 (part-time...2 days one week, 3 the next) and I get the flexibility to make my own schedule every month and I'm only required to work 3 weekend days a month, one can be a friday and still count. Its not easy work and I do come home exhausted for the measly $11 an hour I get. But I do get good benifits for me and my husband. We to have tuition re-imbursement that I just filled out for, for the first time. I think we get $1,500 for part time and $3,500 for full time. I know this hospital offers to pay for your BSN when you are an RN thru a program at the hospital or you can just take the tuition reimbursement. As much as I want to quit and just concentrate on school hubby and I can't aford that. I guess I'm lucky enough just to work part-time. Their is one girl at the hospital going for her RN at CC and she is working full time and has the whole way. She will be starting her second year. But I'm getting burnt out. Help me think of ways to get thru it! Tell me your story!

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

I work full time, one LTC place part time as a CNA, the other is my main job at a hospital as a clinical assistant (CNA). I do the usual CNA work, but the one year of school i have already completed has qualified me to be able to do a few things more than a CNA.


931 Posts

I will be starting my ADN program this fall. For the past two years, I have worked full time as a phlebotomist, and gone to school full time for my pre-reqs. This fall, I will cut my hours at work from 40 to 24. The best advice I can give is to sleep whenever you can. Last semester my shift at wotk was from 5:00a.m. until 1:30 p.m.. My Chemistry class didn't start until 5:30. I would make it home at 2:00p.m.. and sleep until 5:00p.m.. This helped me a little. I also just tell myself at the beginning of each semester that I can do anything for 3 and a half months. It also goes so fast, that before you know it, Christmas break is here, then spring break, then summer. This is the only way I get through it.


777 Posts

Ive been working FT as a computer tech and web developer for a rather large corporation.. im tired of it and have always been interested in healthcare/medicine so I'm making the break for it!!


346 Posts

When I was an RN student, back in 1986-88, it was virtually impossible to work with the courseload we had. Of course, from what I've seen in the past few years, dealing with nursing students and nursing schools, it's nothing now like it used to be so it might be possible for you. But not then...not when you had to go to your clinical site the night before clinical to gather information and do paperwork in preparation - an amount so extreme that it wasn't uncommon for students to be up till 1 or 2 am the morning of clinical, to be at the hospital at 6:30 for report...and to complete the paperwork the next night to have it ready to turn in at the end of the next clinical day. And God help you if one of your patients got discharged...then you had to do it all over again on another patient! We had 2-3 tests per week, each one covering an average of 22 chapters of reading.....

as I said, it wasn't reasonable to expect to hold down a job like that.....I was able to do it because I was 18 and got work/study as a dormitory RA - which meant essentially that I kept my door open from 9-12 each night - while I studied....

Good luck!!


Ruby Vee, BSN

47 Articles; 14,024 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

I graduated in 1978 and worked all the way through. Never in a hospital, though. I was a wedding photographer, worked in a dark room (back when black & white was still popular!), was a maid, waitress, salad chef, short order cook, bartender, and grew tobacco during the summer. Usually I had only two jobs at a time, but one summer had four! I didn't stint on studying, but I was young enough to get by on very little sleep!

Years later, in graduate school I worked 7A - 7P in a CCU every Saturday and Sunday and picked up overtime shifts whenever I could. Wasn't easy, but I did it! And I can proudly say I did it without any help from anyone!

Liddle Noodnik

1 Article; 3,789 Posts

Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

I graduated in 81 and worked doing private duty CNA work. I am amazed looking back at the incredible energy I had! Riding my bike at 10 pm in the dark and the rain probably 7 miles or more, WOW! And I did really well in school too!

Miraculous... I could never do that again.

Seemed then too that I always had money!


143 Posts

Wow!! These are amazing stories.

I go to school full-time. I quit my full time job back in January. And, we are poor. My husband works full time for a power company to keep food on the table. In addition, my husband and I own and operate a part-time electrical contracting business. The electrical business dosen't require much of my time. So, I have lots for studying.

I just want to say that I "really" admire you guys that can work and go to college. I'll probably find myself out looking. My family is getting tired of eating redbeans and rice :)


5 Posts

I feel your pain!!!! I work full time in a Emergency Room in a good size hospital in a small town with only two hospitals. I make 11$ an hour also and am also married with a two year old. I only have two semesters left so I can finally see some light at the end. It has been very tough but you I will make and so will you. Just keep telling yourself that. Trust me it could be worse....


90 Posts

Full time nights in the ER for a big $11.58/hr school in the day 12 credits this semester. But when it's over I double my pay so I just have to work like hell and sleep whenever I can, which will be in less than an hour as I have a 1200 class today.


1,326 Posts

I just started my first semester of clinicals this week.

I currently work as a sales assistant in a small, not-so busy office from 8:30 - 5:00PM Monday-Fri. I have hands on "lab" Tuesday nights from 6-10PM and clinicals on Saturdays. Instead of going to campus for "lecture" I am part of a Web Enhanced program where I get notes, communicate with my instructor and other students all through the internet. I'm responsible for doing the readings on my own and also signing myself up for times to go in and take tests.

It's not easy, but it can be done. I am lucky that my local CC is progressive in offering students the opportunity to take classes in the evenings/weekends and vie internet.

I hope to keep my current job for the first year and then hopefully starting the beginning of summer break work as a PCT or Aide in a medical setting.


713 Posts

I will be working part time during the first year. My daughter will be in pre-school for that year, so any extra money is going to be a help! lol

I will not be working once I start 2nd year though. There will be too much to focus on and too much to do (clinicals!)

Many people work full time while in school (i'm not sure how they do it though....)

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